Tips for living & studying in London as an International student

Tower Bridge lit at night

Written by Zahra Wali – Neuroscience & Psychology 3rd Year Student.

London through a student’s eyes: thriving amidst the city’s rising costs. 

For those of you who have decided to study in London and have heard of the city’s soaring expenses, I hate to tell you that all those rumours are true [cue Lizzo’s song; rumours ft Cardi B]. While I am sure it concerns many students, I am here to offer some advice on how to manage your expenses and have fun while living in the city. 



Who would not love to live in the centre of the city with easy access to transport facilities, shops, restaurants and pop-up activities?  While King’s has many accommodations spread across London – not all of them are affordable for many. However, the university offers the king’s affordable accommodation scheme which allows you to book rooms in certain accommodations at affordable prices (up to 169 pounds per week which is quite reasonable for London). The perks of living in accommodation, especially on this scheme are that you do not have to pay for your bills, and also do not have to put down a deposit beforehand. An alternative option is renting out a flat in London. Although there is a current renting crisis in London the struggle is worth it, often times renting out a flat with 2 or more students turns out to be a cheaper option compared to the accommodations. 


As students, we are entitled to many discounts. Wherever you go make sure you ask at the register if they offer student discounts (there is no harm in asking right?), as many do not advertise that they have one. Moreover, you can download and register yourself on apps like Studentbeans and UniDays which offer student discounts for clothing, food, shoes makeup and more! For all the coffee lovers there is a pret subscription which is 30 pounds a month for up to 5 barista-made drinks a day. 

Rainbow over London

Ways to make some £££

If you are looking to make some extra money while not committing to a part-time job, there is an app for students called ‘stint’ which allows you to pick shifts in restaurants and bars when their employees are not able to make it. This is a really good alternative for students as it allows you to make money when you need it and at your own availability. Moreover, there are many online tutoring companies that are looking for tutors and pay between 10-20 pounds per class which is another great option. I myself tutor online part-time and it really helps as I am able to pick my own hours and get to make extra money for the month. King’s also has a student / subject ambassador programme which allows you to work for King’s to help them with events and content creation for prospective students. This is another great way to make some extra money, as the pay is the London living wage. 

Tips and tricks on how to save money: 

I am sure you all have heard this many times from a lot of people but the best way to save your money is by eating and making your food and drinks at home. You end up saving a lot of money as eating out nowadays has become even more expensive. For those who are always on the run and don’t enjoy cooking (like me), you can make easy foods such as sandwiches, pasta and baked meals. In between classes, you can grab a Tesco meal deal (make sure you have a club card for the extra discount). King’s also has a cafeteria which is trying to become more student budget friendly – however for now they offer breakfast (porridge and toppings) for about a pound and they have a jacket potato and beans meal for 1.50 pounds every day. For all those shopaholics thrifting clothes is a great way to save some money while also getting cute items. Some places to thrift in London include Brick Lane, Camden Market and Kentish Town. 

Chinese food from Camden Market

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